News 12/6 – WITT Debt. Bad Books? School Success.

June 12th 2012 at 7:33am, By Dave Guerin

There are two stories today about 48 Hours Fill Festival films – one is a success and the other wasn’t shown due to UCOL concerns about technical quality and racism.

Policy, Management & People

  1. WITT Debt…is going down.
  2. Extras: Auckland/Waikato buildings recognised; applications open for PM’s Science Prizes; ODT editorial on hi-tech companies, Dunedin and Otago Uni.

Research & Innovation

  1. 48 Hours Films Canterbury’s Carla Moore was part of a winning 48 Hours film team in Christchurch.
  2. Rena Waikato’s Chris Battershill on Rena research – good story.
  3. Growth Canterbury’s Prof Alex Tan’s books on economic growth in Asia.
  4. Squeezes Victoria’s Bob Gregory and Chris Eichbaum are part of an international study looking at periods of fiscal squeezes.
  5. Evangelism Carey Baptist College’s Myk Habets has written a history of evangelism in NZ (with Tim Meadowcroft of Laidlaw College), including histories of Carey and Laidlaw. I must get a copy to add to my tertiary education collection.
  6. Worms An Otago Uni master’s student is seeking out peripatus worms.
  7. Extras: Waikato childlessness research cited; Waikato’s Prof Henrik Moller on a really interesting long-term study of farm production systems; ADHD research by Otago Uni’s Dione Healey; more on the starlight reserve around Canterbury’s observatory (Press editorial) and the difficulty of gaining World Heritage status.

Public Issues

  1. Bad Books? AUT’s Prof Paul Moon has criticised two new history books as being “academically dubious and resemble little more than reckless speculation dressed up as scholarship”. One of the authors, Ian Wishart, has called for an apology (3 News).
  2. Karaoke Auckland’s Hilary Chung and Victoria’s Stephen Epstein on the culture of karaoke bars in Auckland.
  3. School Success Waikato’s Prof Roger Moltzen, Prof Alister Jones and Beverley Cooper on how to raise achievement at school.
  4. Alcohol Otago Uni academics want more control on alcohol.
  5. Smokefree Otago Uni’s Nick Wilson and George Thomson on a survey about a smokefree CBD (Dom Post).
  6. Syria Waikato’s Prof Al Gillespie on Syria.
  7. Extras: Waikato’s Gaye Poole on a Hamilton festival; Waikato’s Prof Jacqueline Rowarth on regulation of agriculture; Otago Uni’s zoology dept on water management and Michael Baker on the common cold; Massey’s Paul Spoonley on country emigration to Australia.


  1. Iran A feature on a Waikato PhD student’s experience studying in Iran.
  2. Racist Film? A group of 48 Hours filmmakers at UCOL had their film pulled by their lecturer due to technical problems (well, it does have uneven sound, before you get to anything else) and “themes…verging on racism”. I guess the lecturer meant the guy in blackface and maybe the bad accents throughout. Not a great film – see if you can watch the whole 8 minutes, or just skim the comments at the end of the story.
  3. Extras: more on American students and hot springs (NZN); Massey PhD student’s exhibition.


  1. Fieldays Lincoln’s at Fieldays. Waikato cow mascot iPad game and seminar series.
  2. Extras: pipers at Aoraki; Otago Uni poet; Otago Uni apologised after a pathology mix-up led to an unnecessary operation.

Teaching & Learning

  1. Nursing The first graduates from an Auckland Nurse Assistant programme will be able to help operate on patients.
  2. Extras: Canterbury students win award for railway engineering project.

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